by Kris Purdy
Dani Papineau is musician-poor. Her partner Jo is work-driven. After fifteen years of vacationing at home, Jo receives an invitation to speak at a conference in Spain. Dani is all in if they add a week of pure R ‘n’ R. But when Jo is rushed to the hospital, paradise takes a hard turn toward hell.
Absent doctors, shady nurses and seedy surroundings are the first clues that all is not right in their world. An attempt to force Jo to undergo an unnecessary surgical procedure raises more alarms. And an overheard conversation makes Dani decide they have to get out. Now.
Fleeing can be tough in a foreign country. Especially when you don’t know what is going on. Where do you go? Who do you turn to? And most importantly, who can you trust when no one and nothing is as it seems.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"I have written stories all my life. This is my first novel. The idea for Paradise Pending came from a trip my partner and I took to southern Spain. The story itself is pure fiction. It is about an escape vacation but that promised paradise is always pending…just out of reach. It could happen to anyone."
...An absolutely thrilling and entertaining debut novel by Kris Purdy, I am already looking forward to her next story. I will be reading it for sure. 4 stars.
Della B. - As a debut novelist, Kris Purdy shows that she can write. Her characters are fully evolved in a plot that is strategically developed. …All in all, a fun read from an author I hope to see more of in the future.
Jo R.…All in all…a good bloody book and I can't wait for future releases by Kris Purdy…another new author to add to the list. 4 stars.
Just finishing reading my friend Kris Purdy's brand new novel, Paradise Pending—a feminist thriller, set in Spain. It's an amazing tour de force! A gripping & alarming tale about for-profit medicine, and the lengths to which some people will go to make money. A novel that really puts the reader on the edge of her seat!!
The ambulance pushed deeper into Old Town, emergency beacon splashing red across white stucco walls, siren seesawing Euro-style. Root to fifth her musician ear noted despite her fear. Dani’s hand dropped to the seat for balance as the ambulance manoeuvred its way through the medieval maze of Cádiz, Spain. Late night revellers backed out of the way. No mean feat on cobblestone streets built for carts.
She wanted to scream. Move! Move faster! But these men, the paramedics, gave her pause.
The younger one was driving. He was slim with a pale complexion marred by acne scars. He avoided eye contact when she caught him glancing back at her in the rearview mirror.
The older one sitting in the front passenger seat was not so reticent. Brutish in profile, his head and neck formed a solid block of flesh, as if a sculptor had forgotten to finish that part of him, making a turn of the head impossible. Except that he could, and when he did, he looked directly at her, eyes dead cold.
Dani held his stare, gut clenching under his scrutiny.
“¿Hay algún problema, señora?”
“No, señor. Pero, ¿más rápido?”
“¿Más rápido?” He looked back at the narrow road and shook his head. “Guiri loca,” he muttered under his breath. Guiri. Not a nice word for tourists.
He’s an ass. So chill. This is normal emergency procedure. Another language, another culture, another place, is all.
She reached back to touch the stretcher as much for her own comfort as for Jo’s. Her Jo. Brilliant. Some said visionary. She managed an NGO back home in Toronto. It was called HomeStart and it served newcomers, immigrants and refugees from all kinds of backgrounds, helping them find homes in their new city. Jo had achieved what few had at the time: changed an overwhelmingly white Anglo agency into one that not only reflected the people it served, but had become one with them. She was now called upon by organizations everywhere to share her path to success. This was her first invitation to Europe.
Dani shook her head slowly. And to think I pushed her to do this. Take a vacation. Finally. The first week Jo spent at her conference, as planned. The second week was going to be pure relaxation amid the beauty of southern Spain. Instead, she’s flat on her back on a stretcher being rushed to a hospital. Dani sighed, looking at her lying there, face pale, skin clammy. But a heart attack can happen anywhere, right? Even sitting on the couch at home. I should have made her take time off long before this. She grimaced. Yeah right. Like I can “make” Jo do anything.
She braced herself as the ambulance took another corner, siren bouncing off stone walls so close she could almost touch them. Jo moaned and Dani took her hand. Hang in there, kiddo. Corner after corner they turned, winding deeper and deeper like some slo-mo slalom into oblivion.